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Tag: chow chow

The DNA results are in on Pig

pig1

They say everything has a beginning, a middle and an end, but when it comes to an Alabama dog named Pig, she seems to have gotten short-changed on that middle part.

Between her sizable head and her rear end, there’s not much real estate, and as a result of her abbreviated torso, taking her out in public has always led to a lot of stares, and a lot of questions — chief among them, “What kind of dog is that?”

What accounts for Pig’s unusual appearance is called short spine syndrome, a birth defect that prevents the spine from fully forming and often makes everyday tasks — like running, jumping and eating — difficult.

Dogs with the disorder — though it can compress their organs and lead to health problems as they grow — generally can lead normal lives, and reach their full life expectancy.

They can also, as in Pig’s case, become international celebrities.

Pig developed a large following after appearing at this year’s Do Dah Day festival in Birmingham. She was featured in a story on AL.com, and her Facebook page, “Pig the Unusual Dog,” created in June, has more than 76,500 followers.

pig2Now, following up on just what it is that makes Pig Pig, AL.com reports that her owner, Kim Dillenbeck of Helena, has received the results of a DNA test she had conducted on the dog to determine what breeds are in her.

A Wisdom Panel test says Pig is a Boxer, Chow Chow, American Staffordshire Terrier mix.

Dillenbeck who has heard guesses ranging from her dog being half rabbit to half not there, was surprised by the results.

“Everybody thought Akita,” Dillenbeck said. “I was was thinking something like a smaller dog, but I was wide open … Pig has all these interesting traits, and there are so many breeds out there.”

Other breeds showing up in the test results as possibilities include Portuguese Water Dog, Alaskan Klee Kai, Scottish deerhound, Lakeland terrier and Maltese.

Pig weighs in at just 16 pounds, much less than one of her siblings, who doesn’t have the disorder and weighs just under 40 pounds.

Dillenbeck’s experience with Pig led her to form the nonprofit Pig’s Foundation to help raise funds for people and organizations rescuing animals. Another mission of the foundation is to raise awareness that animals who look unusual can still have a happy life.

“Pig is her own breed,” Dillenbeck said. “To me, she is just one in a million. As much as I can see her potential in all these breeds, she is still just Pig.”

(Photos: Mark Almond / AL.com)

Rachael Ray to the rescue

rachaelray5One of the benefits of being ostensibly unemployed is access to all the babes (if I might use that term) a guy could ever want. Just watching “The View” alone, one can get one’s fill, and then some, of females of nearly every stripe – liberal, conservative, shrill, sarcastic, blunt, shrill, smart, not so smart, shrill, skinny, full bodied, and did I mention shrill?

I tune into “The View” occasionally — usually when I need a reminder that being single is, as Martha Stewart would say, “a good thing.”

Still “The View” doesn’t give me everything, so, slightly more often, I tune into Rachael Ray, who is able to satisfy my remaining manly needs. There I find — though often in doses too large for my tastes – warmth, perkiness, sensitivity,  and what’s for dinner tonight.laci-400

Yesterday, in addition to learning about “the naughty side” of Julianna Margulies, of “The Good Wife,” and how to mix  fettuccine, prosciutto (which is a fancy word for ham), Brussels sprouts and a sprinkling of Parmigiano-Reggiano into a quick and easy meal, we viewers got to see Rachael go to the rescue of a New Jersey animal shelter.

The show feature a taped segment of Ray arriving — in a truck filled with a year’s supply of Nutrish dog food — at the All Humane Animal Rescue, Inc., in Wanaque, New Jersey.

She meets a few of the animals, including a pit bull with cigarette burns and two Chow Chow mixes who, due to neglect, had lost much of their ear fur, then hands over a $20,000 check to Lysa DeLaurentis, the rescue’s founder and an animal control officer who works for four different municipalities.

DeLaurentis, who appeared on yesterday’s show along with the two Chows — still in need of homes — takes in stray, abandoned and surrendered animals that might otherwise be euthanized and finds new homes for them. After a complaint from a neighbor, state officials visited and informed her that, in addition to structural improvements to the barn she kept the animals in, she needed a license.

luci-400

With that, the single mother — though she lacked enough money to fully accomplish it — began making the improvements that would bring her operation into accord with state rules and regulations.

The check from Rachael Ray came just in time to help her get the work completed before winter.

Way to go, Rachael. I will keep you (if we can stay away from the Brussels sprouts) in my daytime TV talk show harem … as long as you don’t get shrill.

Chow chows rescued from their rescuer

Ninety-two chow chows were seized after authorities this week discovered them living crated and cramped in a small house near Lancaster, Pa.

The chows were discovered in the house, basement, garage and car of Terri Palmer-Roby, founder of Pendragwn Chow Chow Rescue, a shelter for homeless members of the ancient Chinese breed.

Two dead and decaying dogs were removed from at the home during a Tuesday afternoon raid by the state Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement, East Lampeter Township Police, and the Humane League of Lancaster County, according to the Lancaster Intelligencer-Journal.

All the dogs were caged and living in their own waste, many of them emaciated, with open wounds and matted fur, authorities said.

Before Tuesday’s raid, Palmer-Roby was a friend of the Humane League and other area shelters from which she pulled chows in hope of rehabilitating them and adopting them into permanent homes, said Megan Gallagher-Clark, vice president of development at the league.

Six League staff members removed the dogs from the home in shifts Tuesday. Some will be sent to shelters in Berks, York, Bucks and Montgomery counties.

Former “Army brat” remembers best friend

We don’t know how much heat the Pentagon is getting for its edict banning “dangerous” dog breeds from Army housing, despite many of those breeds having served the country honorably.

We do know, though, that the new Army policy, which singles out Rottweilers, chows, Dobermans and pit bulls as undeserving of life on American military bases, has led to at least one letter – a copy of which was sent to us by the writer, one-time Army brat and ohmidog! correspondent Anne Madison.

With her permission, we reprint it here:

Dear Ms. Vanslyke,

I am writing to respectfully but vehemently protest the banning of certain dogs (deemed “aggressive”) from military housing.

I have a somewhat different viewpoint. Though I am now in my fifties, I grew up as the daughter of an Army officer, an “Army Brat” if you will. I had one younger brother. Our beloved dogs followed us from one posting to the next, getting us through strange, new schools, new cties and towns, new people and teachers, and all the huge (and I will say unnatural) adjustments that Army children are forced to make.

They provided us with comfort, love, stability, and loyalty. The first dog I ever had, Cho-Cho, was half-Doberman. She was with us while we were stationed at the Ryukyus Command. I was between three and five years of age, and she was my best friend.

Our soldiers–and their families–give up so much for us! I believe that their lives are much more difficult now than the life that I experienced. At least we were at peace during most of my childhood, so we didn’t have to experience fear and worry for our father.

Is this “breed-oriented persecution” really going to accomplish anything besides tearing families apart and separating respected war veterans from their loved pets? It seems to me that the Army has many means at its disposal to to control any unwanted canine behavior without simply
going through and eliminating all dogs of certain types. If there’s a problem dog of any breed, by all means–address the issue with the adult involved.

This is just too sad and terrible a burden to lay on the shoulders of those who are doing so much for our country at such a cost. And it’s completely unnecessary!

Sincerely yours,

Anne Madison

Mixed up dog — one last dance with DNA

What do these four breeds have in common — besides getting labeled as vicious from time to time?

All four (Rottweiler, Akita, chow and Staffordshire terrier, aka pit bull) are in my dog Ace, according to yet another DNA test (last one, I promise). The best guess now is that one of Ace’s parents was a Rottweiler, the other a combination of Akita, Chow and pit bull.

Together, they formed this creature:

How the product of four “feared” breeds could be such a gentle giant might be explained several ways.

For starters, they aren’t vicious breeds — just breeds that, due to the acts of a few members, have seen themselves smeared as a whole. Secondly, we would contend, when you start mixing up breeds, though some purebred purists might be offended by it, some wonderful things can happen. Third, maybe, just maybe, nurture is more important than nature.

Then again, maybe DNA testing — scientifically solid as it may be — isn’t always the full and final answer.

After all this was our third test, and our third different diagnosis.

The first DNA analysis was performed in connection with the Baltimore Sun series, “Hey Mister What Kind of Dog is That?” The Canine Heritage test from Metamorphix, using a cheek swab taken from Ace, determined he was Rottweiler and Chow. At the time, the test checked for 38 breeds.

The second came after Mars Veterinary offered us a free Wisdom Panel MX Mixed Breed Analysis kit, which can detect the presence of more than 150 breeds. This one required a visit from a vet to take Ace’s blood, and the results showed he was 50 percent Rottweiler, 25 percent Akita, and 25 percent other unknown breeds.

While we were waiting for our results on that one, Canine Heritage got back in touch to let us know the newer version of their  test — still using a cheek swab — could now detect 100 breeds. They offered us a free re-test, so we swabbed Ace’s mouth again.

The results of that one arrived in the mail last week.

Makers of the tests say it helps dog owners better understand their pets’ behavior, and better be on the lookout for potential medical problems, many of which are prevalent among certain breeds. In that regard, testing a dog’s DNA can serve a useful purpose. But there’s a potential for misusing them as well — if, for instance, they ever become a tool for enforcing breed bans.

In that case, Ace, with his components, would be Public Enemy No. 1. Should that ever come to pass, none of this ever happened, and Ace is actually a, uh … Portuguese water dog/Labradoodle mix.

Ciao, chow chow, I’m Akita now

 

My dog’s lineage took another wild swerve last night when it was revealed that — contrary to an earlier DNA test that showed him to be Rottweiler and chow — he is actually Rottweiler and Akita.

The two detectable breeds in my dog Ace (left) and Elliot (right) were revealed at our “ohmidog! Identity Crisis and Breed Reveal Party,” which raised $500 for the Franky Fund for sick and injured animals at Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS).

While Ace’s mix was correctly guessed by a member of the crowd that gathered at the Idle Hour Tavern for the reveal, nobody nailed the two breeds that showed up in Elliot Gould: boxer and golden retriever.

Kelly Gould, Elliot’s owner — though she has nothing against boxers and golden retrievers — immediately demanded a recount, saying the DNA test’s findings were not at all in line with what she suspected.

Elliot, the winner of our “What’s in Your Mutt” contest, spent the day before the party at my house, where he behaved, in true mutt fashion, magnificently. At the Idle Hour, guests sized up Ace and Elliot, and tossed their guesses, along with their Franky Fund donations, into a fishbowl.

At 8 p.m., the envelopes were opened and the test results were announced. The two winners — in Elliot’s case, the person who came closest, picking boxer/shepherd — will receive ohmidog! sweatshirts. From the rest of the entries, three more winners were drawn to receive dog treat baskets, courtesy of K-9 Kraving Dog Food.

Thanks to K-9 Kraving, the Idle Hour, Mars Veterinary (makers of the Wisdom Panel MX Mixed Breed Analysis test kit), Dr. Johnny Slaughter (the vet who took the blood samples), and all those who showed up for the party.

(Tomorrow: Now what? We’ll take a look at what, if anything, the test results mean — to the dogs and their caretakers.)

Fun with DNA on Rachel Ray

What breeds are in Bernadette Peters’ dog, Kramer, may not be a question that’s keeping you awake nights, but you can learn the answer on the Rachel Ray Show today.

The segment, titled “Who’s Your Daddy,” features the story of two mixed-breed dogs — one from a local NY shelter and the second belonging to film and Broadway star Bernadette Peters. Both were tested prior to the taping using Wisdom Panel MX, the new breed identification test made by Mars Veterinary.

Peters and Kramer appear on the show for the “reveal.”

As you regular readers know, we’re doing our own DNA test on two dogs, including mine. Ace was originally tested a year ago — and determined to be chow and Rottweiler — using the Canine Heritage test. Last month, we tested him with the upgraded Canine Heritage XL test, as well as the new Mars Wisdom Panel MX, which detects more than 150 breeds, and we’re awaiting verdicts on both. Also tested was Elliott, the winner of our What’s In Your Mutt contest.

We’ll be having our own “reveal” at a time to be announced.

On today’s Rachel Ray Show, you’ll also get the chance to see the shelter dog’s trip to the vet, and the results announced on air by Dr. Ernie Ward, the show’s resident veterinarian.

Bernadette Peters is a long-time advocate for dogs. With Mary Tyler Moore, she hosts Broadway Barks, a dog and cat adopt-a-thon benefiting New York City animal shelters and adoption agencies. Peters also put out a children’s book and CD of the same name.

(Update: Bernadette’s one-eyed dog — Kramer had a tumor in his eye when she adopted him — dog turned out to be predominantly Chow and Golden Retriever.)